It was the last night of Hanukkah in 2001. David Rubin, the founder and president of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, an organization seeking to ease the trauma of terrorism in children and rebuild the Biblical heartland of Israel, had finished basking in the lights of his fully lit menorah and contemplating the miracles that happened to the ancient Israelis nearly 2,200 years ago and its relevance today.
Little did he know that shortly after filling his home and heart with holiday light, his life would suddenly shift to a time of darkness through a brutal terrorist attack.
“Every year, as my family celebrates Hanukkah, the trauma of that terror attack gets re-lived a bit,” Rubin shared with Breaking Israel news. “But, we strive to focus on the miracles that we experienced, our gratefulness to God, and the healing work which has come out of this through the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund.”
As Rubin points out in his book, “God, Israel & Shiloh-Returning to the Land”, “No one expects to be a victim of a terror attack.” Yet, just in the past two months during the latest wave of terror hammering Israel, there have been over 225 injured terror victims, at least 85 people treated for shock and 22 murders. Unfortunately, these numbers change moment to moment as Israeli citizens remain on high alert for the next tragic story.
On the fateful night of the attack, Rubin was driving on the Road of the Patriarchs near his home in the Biblical city of Shiloh when his car was hit by a barrage of bullets causing the engine to fail. “Bullets were whizzing past me inches in front of my eyes,” recalled Rubin.
Pain set in to Rubin’s body as blood started gushing from his left leg. His three-year-old son, Ruby, was sitting in the back of the car strapped into his carseat. Rubin checked on his son’s welfare. Ruby’s eyes were opened yet he remained silent. There was no visible blood so Rubin assumed that the boy was suffering from shock.
Rubin experienced perhaps the first open miracle of the night. After several attempts to start his dead car, it suddenly started. He sped away at 120 miles per hour from the terrorists, who were still shooting, to the nearest Jewish community.
“The second miracle of the attack was that my right leg was intact allowing me to still drive my car,” noted Rubin.
The third grateful miracle was that the gas station attendant in the neighborhood “happened” to also be a medic. “Perhaps that only happens in Israel,” Rubin related to Breaking Israel News. The medic actively worked to stop Rubin’s bleeding until the ambulance arrived, thereby saving his life.
Medics quickly helped Rubin while others went to the car to check on Ruby. What they discovered was not a young child in shock but rather that Ruby had been shot in the head. A fourth miracle occurred. Although the bullet had entered in the place where the skull meets the neck causing a skull fracture and internal bleeding in the cerebellum, it had missed his brain stem by one millimeter, which would have been a death sentence.
In a seemingly well-picked Godly intervention, the fifth miracle of the attack was that Rubin was the 1,000th victim of terrorism to be hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Karem in Jerusalem since the beginning of the Second Intifada. Rubin emphasized, “Given that there are several large hospitals in Israel, that should put into perspective the relentless terror that Israel was facing at the time and still faces today.”
Media had gathered outside of Rubin’s hospital room to interview this dubiously honored victim, wondering if he would be willing to go-on-the-record. This is the moment when Rubin realized that his life’s journey had all been planned just for this moment. A sixth miracle from this former atheist turned Orthodox Jew.
As a trained educator who had taught on the elementary, secondary and college levels as well as someone who had done extensive research on Jewish history and has a very presentable look and speaking voice, Rubin welcomed the opportunity to speak truth about the dangers lurking in the Holy Land. This moment led to his founding the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund and writing many books on Israel. A sixth miracle.
The seventh miracle, Rubin happily stated, is, “My son and I have had good recoveries due to the outstanding physical and emotional care we have received.”
The eighth miracle is the light of life which has been returned to thousands of people helped through the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund. “This dark time in my life definitely led to wonderful Hanukkah miracles seemingly paralleling the eight days of the miracles of Hanukkah,” reflected Rubin to Breaking Israel News. “I gratefully acknowledge that God has blessed me at this time of miracles to assist in healing traumas caused by terror attacks through the Gush Shiloh Therapy Center, run by the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund and helping to rebuild Israel’s Biblical heartland.”